Besides skin cancer, colorectal cancer is the third most common cause of cancer deaths in American men and women. But colorectal cancer deaths are now declining, thanks to improved screenings and advanced treatments. GI Consultants in Dover, Delaware, is a leading gastroenterology practice, and Bhavin Dave, MD, uses science-based approaches with proven results. For colorectal cancer screening, diagnosis, and treatment, reach out to GI Consultants online or by phone today.
Colorectal cancer, also known as colon cancer, occurs when precancerous growths called polyps in your colon or rectum turn cancerous. Colorectal cancer can cause severe health problems, and it can even be deadly.
However, with regular screening, prompt diagnosis, and expert treatment from your GI Consultants gastroenterologist, you can overcome colorectal cancer.
The symptoms of colorectal cancer include:
Colorectal cancer symptoms are similar to the symptoms of other conditions, such as inflammatory bowel disease and irritable bowel syndrome.
If you’re suffering from any of these symptoms, talk to your GI Consultants gastroenterologist as soon as possible to get an accurate diagnosis.
There are several types of colorectal cancer screenings:
During a colonoscopy, your GI Consultants gastroenterologist views your colon and rectum through a thin tube inserted in your rectum.
In a stool test, your gastroenterologist checks your stool sample for blood. This test detects amounts of blood too small to see with the naked eye. The fecal occult blood test is the most common type of stool colorectal cancer screening.
A sigmoidoscopy is a test in which your GI Consultants gastroenterologist views the lower portion of your colon using a thin, flexible scope. It doesn’t cover as much territory as a colonoscopy, so it’s sometimes done at the same time as a stool test.
You should start colorectal cancer screenings at age 45 if you have average risk factors. If you have multiple risk factors like a family history of colorectal cancer, personal history of gastrointestinal disease, obesity, smoking, or precancerous polyps, your GI Consultants gastroenterologist might recommend starting screenings earlier than that.
With colorectal cancer, early detection is the key to maintaining your health and wellness. You can work with your GI Consultants gastroenterologist to detect colorectal cancer in the precancer and early stages so you can begin treatment right away.
If you have precancerous polyps, your gastroenterologist can sometimes remove them during your colonoscopy screening.
For larger polyps, you might need surgical removal. After your precancerous polyp removal, your GI Consultants specialist typically performs a biopsy to check the tissue for cancer again.
For early-stage colorectal cancer, polyp removal through minimally invasive procedures like colonoscopy or laparoscopy is typically the preferred treatment.
For more advanced colorectal cancer, options include partial colon removal (partial colectomy) or ostomy surgery to create a new way to eliminate stool through your abdomen. Other options for advanced colorectal cancer include chemotherapy and radiation therapy.
The GI Consultants team is here to support you, from colorectal cancer screenings to treatment and beyond. Use the online scheduling tool or call the office to make your appointment with an experienced gastroenterologist today.